Anthony J. “Tony” Franco, 69, of Durham passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at the MidState Medical Center, Meriden with his family by his side.  He was the beloved husband of 48 years to Phyllis Capasso Franco. Tony was born in New Haven on October 7, 1944; son of the late James and Maria Grace DeStefano Franco; was a graduate of Eli Whitney and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Haven.  Tony had worked for Lux Time Clock, Jacobs Manufacturing and Goodrich Corporation.  An avid baseball player and enthusiast, he was inducted in the UNH Baseball Hall of Fame having pitched a perfect game, but most importantly Tony truly enjoyed watching his beloved grandchildren playing hockey, softball and baseball, and was named “The Poppy in Centerfield”.  Father of Jody Garcia (Trevor), Tony Franco (Mary) and Jill Bystrek (Vincent).  Grandfather of Brooke, Tyler, Anthony and Lexi.  Brother of James Franco and the late Marie Miranda, Judi Arjarvich, Peter, Gus and Nick Franco.

His funeral procession will leave the North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue, Monday morning at 9:30.  A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated in St. Therese Church, North Haven at 10:00.  Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery.  The visiting hours will be Sunday from 3 to 6 PM.  The family asked to please omit flowers and memorial contributions, just remember Tony in your prayers.